Thursday, March 26, 2009

My Speech

If I were an actual politician, I had thought about what I would say in a major speech. As I never plan to be such a politician...I decided to write one instead. What follows is that speech - prepared over the course of the past month with what very little free time I had at work.

Since I began my journey down the road to conservatism, I have intently listened to the words of some of the great orators. The best among them are eloquent and capable of providing the right inflection at those perfect moments to make the listening audience in awe of the words and ideas presented. One of the titans of spoken word, Ronald Reagan, gave a speech some seventeen years before my parents met which redefined conservatism. Reagan said to gathered crowds of supporters that we had entered into a time for choosing, where our nation had two paths which were not left or right, but up or down. Reagan said we can either go "...up to...man's age-old dream, the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order - or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism." His words are as true today as they ever were.

Our nation has had numerous decisions to make throughout its history. Thomas Jefferson had to choose whether to pay pirates or stand and fight for our freedom to trade freely. He chose the latter. James Madison could have chosen cowardice and surrendered our fledgeling nation nation to British invaders, he chose to fight. George Washington could have chosen the simple path of President for life, he instead chose to step aside allowing our nation to move forward. Harry Truman could have chosen to allow the Soviet Union to starve free Berlin taking the easy route and stand aside, he chose to stand up. Gerald Ford could have allowed a former President to suffer under a national witchhunt as the man himself continued to lose everything that he had; he chose forgiveness and healing. Time after time, the giants upon who's shoulders we stand made the difficult choices. These patriots are the reason we stand here today.

America stands tall today as the proud purveyor of freedom. She stands as the last great hope for a world witnessing a growing emergence of true enemies of freedom. In Iran, members of the peaceful Baha'i faith are systematically rounded up and slain. In North Korea, speaking ill of the government will get you inprisoned. Our freedoms should never be taken for granted. We as Americans are safer and freer than our brothers and sisters abroad. We have every right to take pride in our home and in the beautiful gifts of liberty, justice, and freedom she provides.

Conservatives are too often treated as unwavering supporters of the agenda of the Republican party, blindly adhering to the ideology of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter, never considering the consequences of these ideas. Yet this is clearly not the case. From differing conservative perspectives, a tapestry of ideas are bred ranging from the the libertarian leans of the Ron Paul revolutionaries to the neo-conservative thought of the ditto-heads. All claim the mantle of conservative visionaries and all are, to an extent, accurate. Conservative means many different things to many different people within the movement, yet to the outside world it is embodied not in the idealistic vision of Adam Smith but in the leadership of former President Bush.

We as conservatives need to break the mold and coalesce around our commonalities to show a wanting world that we understand their troubles. We understand the turmoils of modern society and have answers that have succeeded in the past. Let us never forget our moral clarity and the great visionaries of conservative thought. Let us remind Americans of all stripes why they had allowed us to lead in the first place - they agree with us. This cult of personality that has overtaken our nation is beginning to dwindle and a true call to arms is beginning. The people of this great nation are realizing that individual freedoms and limited government are the answer and that waste and greed are more common among government than among the governed.

The people want less, not more from our government. They want a lean machine that is free of politics as usual and meets its Constitutional functions. If we conservatives return as the purveyors of freedom, liberty, and limited governance then we can win elections and we will bring our nation back on the right course. If those who claim the mantle of conservative do not live up to these values, then we must find those who will. Conservatism upholds traditional limitations of government and in so doing allows it to function properly. That is the ultimate goal of conservatives - a Constitutionally limited government serving the people and providing freedom and liberty to the greatest extent possible. That is how we must act and that is how we must serve in office. If we do not, we will be cast aside being remembered not as the defenders of freedom but as those who stood idly by as it crumbled.

I call upon Chairman Steele and the Republican Party to stand tall and proudly. Do not waver in your support of limited government and do not falter in your opposition to the waste they call a stimulus. Stand proudly against the growing tide of expanded government and as they hear your call, the American people will stand up with you. Thank you and God bless these United States of America.

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